By Nicholas Jason Lopez
United through universal college struggles, the members of Laundry all met in the dorms of the University Of Oregon in the Fall 2017 semester and before long, they began to make an impact in the underground scene of towns like Eugene and Portland.
A sparkle-shine concoction of commanding melodies from three lead singers, surf rock and art/dream pop, you can catch a glimpse of what they’re all about from their latest album ‘Movie Star,’ which features the rambunctiously fun singles “Don’t You Dare,” “Commercials” and “Slot Machine.”
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with the band – composed of drummer Nik Barber, guitarist/vocalist Riley Somers, bassist/vocalist Cal Fenner and guitarist/vocalist Kiki Paroissien-Arce – about ‘Movie Star’ and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the name “Laundry”?
Kiki Paroissien-Arce – The four of us met in a residential community at the University Of Oregon for freshman musicians. On the night that we all moved in, there was a large jam session with about 20 other musicians. We all started in one of the basement practice spaces, but eventually, we were kicked out and had to move to the laundry room. Towards the end of the night, everyone had gone to bed and it was just the four of us left. From that moment forward, we decided to become a band and call it Laundry.
Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?
Riley Somers – Eugene is a really amazing town for music. There are so many bands here that have helped us get shows and inspired us to continue creating, like Novacane, Spiller, The Graduating Class and The Macks. We have really enjoyed being able to pass this on to the generation of bands younger than us, like Growing Pains, Bluphoria, Gentlebeing and Common Koi. It is truly a great place to create.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for your single “Don’t You Dare”?
Kiki Paroissien-Arce – “Don’t You Dare” is just a story I came up with. It isn’t based on my family’s dynamics, but it is inspired by my fear that my struggles with mental illness would make me a terrible mom. “Don’t You Dare” is just about coping with having a partner/parent that isn’t capable of being present.
Music Bugle – How would you sum up your 2021?
Nik Barber – Over the last year, although we hadn’t been able to play live, we still have been working towards new projects, whether it was the new album, music videos, or live streams. We have been super thankful that we all live together, so we’re all in each other’s close circles. We all know that the pandemic will end at some point, so we’ve been creating content that’ll be ready to be released when more things open up. Although not playing shows has definitely been a drag, we have all been trying to be optimistic about the future and are excited to release new music to people who are excited to listen. We are super stoked to be getting back to it and we’re very hopeful.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Riley Somers – The constant evolution. We make a point of not doing the same thing twice and that’s what keeps the band fresh and interesting for us. With our latest album ‘Movie Star,’ we’ve cultivated more of a concept album and tried to tie things together thematically.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together ‘Movie Star’?
Riley Somers – Compared to 2018’s ‘After The Quandary,’ 2019’s ‘Affirmation’ and 2020’s ‘Fast Cars,’ ‘Movie Star’ is our most practiced and carefully composed work yet and what stands out to us about it is the attention to detail and flow. It is more attentively sculpted and we experimented with far more ideas before settling on the final product this time around.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Riley Somers – Social media is what you make it. It has certainly helped us, as we use it almost exclusively to get people to our shows. It has been a huge factor in our success, but I think too much of a good thing can certainly be harmful.
Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately?
Nik Barber – Absolutely, the biggest challenge in our career has been the pandemic. Over the last two years, we have missed out on multiple opportunities to perform music, just as everyone else has. We’ve really been trying to look on the bright side, though! It’s been a hard period, but we’ve been using our time to make content to be released. We couldn’t be more excited for the pandemic to be over and for us to get back to our lives.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Riley Somers – To bed… I’m not sure! (Laughs) We don’t get many breaks.
Music Bugle – In what other ways have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Riley Somers – The pandemic prevented us from playing shows, but it didn’t stop us from making music together in our house! We have all been affected, be it through school, work, or music. We don’t want to be too self-pitying though, because we know others have suffered so much more. In the end, we’re just happy to have made it through.